So this was a comment I left on a video. It's long but this is from the heart. This is for every person who tries to tell you that Black people need to "let go" of our history. That we use slavery as a "crutch" or an excuse for the current conditions of our people in this nation. Don't let that guilt trip move you toward the path of ignorance! It is a trap to keep you complacent to injustice! It was the same line of methodology they used on our ancestors to keep us subject to the system of inhumane chattel slavery in the United States! It was illegal for us to read, to write, to speak our home languages, to sing our own songs, to worship our own religions, to keep our own names at the punishment of death! Black Man Woman, and Child, you are the most lethal weapon to America when you TRULY know these two things: WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU COME FROM.
There's nothing wrong with Black Americans learning their history. Please do not take it for granted. There was a time in our very recent history that there was no existence of books about Black people or a Black history month to bring awareness to the contributions of Black people in the United States (Google: Carter T. Woodson). Furthermore, all Americans need to learn about the horrors of chattel slavery in the United States so they would not be ignorant. Slavery still exists today in varying ways but most people would not be able to identify someone who was a slave simply because they choose not to educate themselves.
Black Americans especially need to learn the atrocities performed upon our ancestors and we should never forget them, otherwise the same things can be repeated. Learning these things may cause us to experience different emotions of anger or sadness, but we must go through these things to heal and move forward. We almost must realize, our emotional expressions right now can in no way compare to the physical & psychological pains our ancestors experienced first hand. In many ways the tears we cry now are the tears they wished they could lament back then.
We need to learn these things not to build hate or to plot revenge against others, but in order to heal and carry through the fight of those who were stolen from their homeland; died on the ships and bodies who were thrown into the ocean; survived the horrors of trans-atlantic transport being chained to the floors for weeks on hand, laying in human waste; and endured the cruelties of chattel slavery, being bred like animals, raped of humanity, denied of their languages, fractured from their cultures, broken from their families, forced to work in fields that they did not own and forced to build a nation that would forever treat them as less than equal.
If you are a Black American and do not acknowledge the struggles of your ancestors, you deny the very blood that runs through your veins at this moment! Your DNA links you to people who survived the greatest crime never for convicted and never for has been indicted! If Black Lives Matter to you now, then how can you not acknowledge that Black Lives Mattered then?
Yes, the United States of America has many sins to confess concerning the many groups of people she has chosen to rape, murder, dehumanize, disenfranchise, and plunder. Don't be one of those who add to those lists of sins by denying, ignoring, or disvaluing the true history of this country. Our ancestors deserve their truth to be told, even if it is violent, graphic, and hard to digest.